The Reading Brain in the Digital Age by Jabr: Critical Essay Sample

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Book review
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Ferris Jabr’s The Reading Brain in the Digital Age is a novel that explains the difference between reading from books and digital reading from computers and smartphones. According to Ferris Jabr’s novel The Reading Brain in the Digital Age, while reading books people tend to be committed and very attentive, the books are read thoroughly from one page to the other. The book readers take their time reading from the books with minimal interferences from anywhere. On the other hand, people reading ebooks are not as committed as the book readers are since there are other attention diverters within the screen (Jabr, 11). It, therefore, becomes hard to pay attention to whatever is being read. I agree with the ideas within Ferris Jabr’s novel The Reading Brain in the Digital Age that it is challenging to concentrate on the screen as it is on the books. Personally, I have been affected by too much reading ebooks and I find it difficult to concentrate on book reading.

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Why Is It Hard to Read Ebooks?

Ferris Jabr’s novel The Reading Brain in the Digital Age considers points noted from books as tangible as in the page numbers and the specific points within the book where certain facts can be found. The novel suggests that when making references it is cheap to refer from the book as at the edge, at the bottom, at the top among other reference phrases (Jabr, 12). The structure of the lines within a book could also be used as references within books to ease referencing. However, the screen allows little room for referencing as it's very hard to trace pages and the exact points where certain information is. The patterns within the lines of words are not easy to monitor from the screen as it is from books. I completely agree with the ideas from this novel especially the facts concerning referencing. I am a victim of the hectic process of referencing from the screen and as is confirmed by Ferris Jabr’s novel The Reading Brain in the Digital Age, it is not cheap.

Ebooks and Attention Spans

It is also stated that when people read ebooks they comprehend less as compared to the comprehensiveness paid to book reading. The understanding of the reading is owed to the attention paid and the number of interferences experienced. As suggested within the novel, it is true that the comprehensiveness while reading ebooks is far below that when reading from the books. The words from the book are treated as physical and are hence handled carefully. The understanding developed when reading the books, therefore, makes reading from the books an easy way to remember the contents of the book as compared to reading ebooks (Jabr, 13). The ideas from the novel indicating that understanding readings from books is better than that from the screen are very true, as I have witnessed it, I often forget readings from the screen but tend to remember those from books.

Why Do You Read Faster on Printed Than Ebooks?

Lastly, Ferris Jabr’s novel The Reading Brain in the Digital Age ironically indicates that reading from the book takes less time than reading ebooks. In reading books, the book is already there with all its contents and the reader chooses to read it in whichever way he wishes. On the contrary, reading from the screen requires the loading of pages, which consumes a lot of time (Jabr, 14). Surely, the screen may experience internet delays and errors that create uncertainty and time wastage whereas the book is readily available for reading anytime. Reading from the screen is hence more expensive than the book since the book is bought once while the screen requires continuous use of resources while loading. Contrary to the thoughts I had before reading this novel, it is true that reading ebooks are more expensive than reading from a book.

Works Cited

Jabr, F. (2013). The reading brain in the digital age: The science of paper versus screens. Scientific American, 11-14.

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